PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.
By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
MINUTES after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addressed the House of Assembly on further COVID-19 relaxations, PLP leader Philip “Brave” Davis said the measures do not provide enough relief for the “angst” people are experiencing.
In his contribution to the House of Assembly yesterday, Dr Minnis advised Parliament about the reopening of beaches on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Bimini and Paradise Island on June 29. He also announced the countrywide curfew now starts at 10pm nightly as opposed to the 9pm time previously enforced.
Among other changes, he said spas and gyms can also reopen on July 1, while restaurants — except for those at Arawak Cay — can immediately resume indoor dining with strict protocols. Businesses can also now close at 8pm nightly, instead of 7pm.
When asked for comment on the announcements, the PLP leader said Dr Minnis’ decisions “have continually produced chaos, pain and confusion.”
He added: “I don’t know what he intends to do now or not do anything to alleviate those three things that I said continues to afflict us - confusion, chaos and angst. One hour? Well I guess any relief that persons seem to be getting from this form of seemingly oppressive measure is a relief. But, what difference does an hour make?”
The opposition leader said he has admonished the government for some time to be wise in the decision making, but he is unclear about the extension of COVID-19 emergency orders to July.
“I’ve been admonishing them to be wise in their decisions,” Mr Davis continued. “I have to understand when he says he is extending the powers to July. I have to understand what that means in the specifics. It was very general in my view as to what he intends to do.
“We need to understand what that means and how disruptive that is going to be in the lives of our people because we cannot continue the way we are. There is just too much pain and hurt in our communities where people are screaming from the pain that’s being inflicted.”
During Parliament, Dr Minnis criticised statements made by Mr Davis during the early stages of the pandemic. To this Mr Davis explained that he just wanted to be more informed on disease.
“He (the prime minister) indicated that I formed a COVID-19 task force myself,” Mr Davis explained. “My first press statement on the matter, I spoke to how it was an over reach and how the measures were inherently conflicting. That was my response to his first emergency order.
Mr Davis continued by giving details of a meeting with government members and health authorities on COVID-19 that seemed not to have happened again.
“We met the Monday after that and sat for an hour or two to revisit what he had done, along with his Attorney General (Carl Bethel) and with Dr Dahl-Regis on the phone line and from that day we have not been able to have such a session again to lend our views on it. And, he is talking about me forming a task force? I wanted to form a vehicle so I could assure myself that I had proper advice on these matters so that I could inform others.”